I’ve been studying the Apostle Paul’s approach to “Church Planting” for years, and I’ve always been amazed at how he did it. In a nut shell, he simply DISCIPLED (developed) people and church’s naturally evolved. Instead of going into a city, renting a building, buying chairs, keyboards, and other various items not really needed in the beginning stages and getting in debt, Paul simply discipled people until a handful became many, and many became a church. Throwing seed…casting the net…teaching Bible Studies and “testing the soil” makes much more New Testament sense to me!
In my opinion, this paradigm shift makes sense for many reasons. One obvious reason is stewardship! We are responsible for being good stewards of God’s money. Whoever said that a man had to walk into a city, rent a building, remodel and furnish said building, and hope that someone showed up with some money who could help pay for it? Just reading that line over a few times makes my anxiety level rise a few notches!
Why start off by putting yourself in massive debt when you could just teach Bible Studies House to house, in coffee shops, Hotel Meeting Rooms, etc. Meeting in someone’s house, even at a coffee shop, to teach a Bible Study does not cost you money (unless you are going to provide snacks or buy them a cup of coffee, which is still a lot cheaper than RENT). Starting in a Hotel Meeting Room is significantly cheaper than tackling your own building and all of the expenses that come with it. I started both of my churches this way and it worked both times! It just makes good sense and it removes a lot of unnecessary pressure that too many men have placed on themselves and have suffered because of it.
I started both of my churches by teaching a Bible Study to a backslider, which turned into multiple Bible Studies, which turned into a group that began meeting in a Hotel Meeting Room, and we never looked back!
Look, at the end of the day, Bible Studies are NOT only Biblical, they are a LOT CHEAPER than RENT! It’s really that simple!
So, what would happened if we changed the way we look at starting a church? What would happen if we simply followed the Biblical pattern of connecting with people intentionally with the purpose of teaching them a Bible Study? What would happen if we stopped worrying about getting a big building and spending a lot of money (that most of us do not have), and just started teaching Bible Studies…LOTS of Bible Studies?
For those who are already on site and laboring to build a church, what would happen IF we stopped focusing so much on how MANY people we had at our church (more unnecessary pressure that I’ll write about later) and started focusing on truly DISCIPLING the people that we have?
Jesus did NOT tell us to build a church!
Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18)!
Jesus commanded us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20)!
IF we will focus on “making disciples,” He will take care of building His Church!
Between (Matthew 16:18) and (Matthew 28:19-20), the principle set forth is simply this: IF we will “BUILD PEOPLE,” God will “BUILD HIS CHURCH!”
Let’s get intentional about people and watch what God does…